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Archive for the ‘andy murray’ Category

“A Bit More Emo.”

Posted by gauloises1 on March 18, 2011

The transcendentally excellent sketch featuring Andy Murray and the cast of Outnumbered for Comic Relief:

I genuinely love this, not just because Muzz has successfully graduated from the Dan Radcliffe School of Acting and is merely Harry Potter bad as opposed to unbelievably bad, but because of Dad’s final comment: “He was a bit standoffish, wasn’t he?” Because you just know that is Andy’s daily experience; being incredibly nice and gracious to people’s requests and still getting condemned for being, well, him. It’s funny because it’s true.

And I hate saying this because I sound like a horrible TV presenter but … ifyouenjoyedthissketchpleasepleasedonatetoComicRelief. Thanks.

Posted in andy murray, video | Tagged: | 6 Comments »

Indian Wells: So, We’re Doing This Again? OK.

Posted by gauloises1 on March 13, 2011

Donald Young d. (5) Andy Murray, 76(4) 63

So … the traditional Murray post-Australian Open demoralising finals loss slump is on again, then.

I must confess I didn’t watch this one (too occupied with JMDP). I hear that Donald Young played out of his skin, but there’s no way that a Murray on any kind of form loses to a player who last won consecutive ATP matches at this event in 2008. It’s unacceptable and if it he doesn’t snap out of it sharpish, there will be trouble.

So congratulations to Donald Young, and on to Miami …

Posted in andy murray, donald young, indian wells | Tagged: , | 4 Comments »

The Withdrawal Method: Murray Out Of Dubai

Posted by gauloises1 on February 18, 2011

Andy Murray has withdrawn from Dubai next week with a wrist injury. There’s not a lot to be said beyond that really. Coupled with his first-round loss to Baghdatis in Rotterdam, it looks like we’re in for another post-AO final slump. To be honest, given the beating he took after showing up last year and losing to Tipsy, I don’t blame him for withdrawing.

On the other hand, maybe he does have a really serious wrist injury. You know, like a certain JMDP who shall remain unnamed. Wouldn’t that be fun? 

*searches for “sarcasm” tag*

Posted in andy murray, dubai, the withdrawal method | 1 Comment »

You and Me Could Have a Sad Bromance.

Posted by gauloises1 on January 31, 2011

Q. Did you speak English back when you were 11? Could you talk to him?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, I had it in school so already I knew some basic things. Back then, yeah, we were speaking kind of more with the signs, you know, hands and legs and stuff (smiling). He was using more of a Scottish accent, so he was really hard to understand.

Q. You also played doubles with him.

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: He had the hair (laughter).

[…] Q. Now is it hard to balance the friendship and the professional rivalry or do you achieve that?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes, I sent him a message yesterday after his semifinal saying like, Perth final, because we practiced in Perth a couple times this year. We had fun. We played football there. He won, unfortunately.

It’s fun. It’s been a fun couple of weeks. I think we, as well, reconnected a little bit with the friendship in the last 12 months.

Well, we have to forget about all that when we step on the court. It’s all business. I’m sure he’s going to be very eager to win a first Grand Slam title.


“I was letting it [our friendship] go in the last few months and allowing Andy to feel what he wants to feel about our relationship, as friends,” Djokovic said. “If he thinks we should be friends regularly and hang out more or not.”

“That was more or less on him to decide because I always liked him as a person. We grew up together playing junior events, we knew each other really well and had a lot of fun.

“But then we basically came up to the top of tennis at the same time and were rivals. At some stage we were playing a lot of matches against each other and now we haven’t played for a long time.

“Right now I feel we are getting closer because we grew up and this period of three, four years being at the top of men’s tennis has kind of passed and now we know that OK, we are rivals, that’s obvious. But off the court it doesn’t mean that we can’t have dinner or play golf or things like that.

“I definitely wish him to have it [a first grand-slam title] because I think he deserves it. He has all he needs to have in order to be a champion.”


Rah, rah, uncontrollable weeping.

Posted in andy murray, australian open, novak djokovic | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

Coming Of Age.

Posted by gauloises1 on January 31, 2011

I remember a few years ago arguing with a Fedal-loving friend about Novak Djokovic. She cited the usual arguments: he’s cocky; his parents are awful; he disrespects his opponents by impersonating them; he retires too much; he’s too desperate to be liked. I pointed out that those things were even at the time too outmoded to be used as evidence, and added that the process of Djokovic growing up, adjusting to his status and learning to own it, and dealing with his own fluctuating confidence was reason enough to want to watch him. She said that not being a child psychologist, she had no interest in seeing him grow up. Fine, I said. But I do.

2011 Australian Open men’s singles champion.


Yes, you.

Novak Djokovic is the champion in Melbourne for a second time, but there’s no illusion of coming full circle. He’s three years older, immeasurably wiser, and a much, much better player. And we all had a chance to see him without his hair for a bit, so now we’re able to fully appreciate it. This story could not be better.

Like a kitten, I tell you.

OK, it could have been better. It would have been, well, nicer for me if his great win didn’t come at the expense of Andy Murray once again falling at the final hurdle, by which we mean looking basically like a chump in a Slam final. I’m so not in the mood to participate in the what’s-wrong-with-Andy-Murray game right now, partly because I don’t think that he showed us anything different in this final to the ones he’s played before; the difference is that it was Djokovic across the net, not Federer, so the disappointment is that much greater apparently. And that’s a point of view that’s not only vaguely disrespectful but totally blind to the player that Djokovic has become over the past six months.

Murray was lame at times, flat at others, and just not there in the way he needed to be. But the disappointment of the last two sets overshadows the brilliance of the first nine games when it looked like it was going to be a fantastic contest, and the main reason that it wasn’t lies in the fact that once Djokovic had the first set in the bag, he simply ran away with the match. Every time Murray did have an opportunity to get back into the match, Djokovic snuffed it out with that pummeling forehand and brilliant defending. Murray will have his moment, but this wasn’t it.

This moment belonged to Djokovic. I didn’t have a chance to talk about Djokovic’s victory over Federer – remarkably stupid scheduling decisions on my part, sorry – but ever since last year’s US Open, he’s looked a different player. Not back to his old self, but a new and better player, with an improved forehand, a smarter tactical sense, and a confidence that seemed rooted deeper and hence less likely to be peeled away by success or the lack of it. After all the losses, heartbreaking and lacklustre alike, his health problems and what looked like an inability to draw a clear line between his life off court and what happened on it, he’s come out of the other side a new man and a better player. And we all got to watch it happen. Tennis is great.

Djokovic has always talked a good game, but I can’t have been the only person impressed by his conduct on Sunday, both on the court and in his press conference. He was poised and mature, looking every inch the champion from the moment he first set foot on Rod Laver; his celebrations were muted, in line with the match; and his victory speech, in which he dedicated the victory to Serbia and took the time to acknowledge the Australian flood victims, was moving.

Q. You took a tough loss here last year, Roland Garros obviously, and then even Wimbledon. Did something happen in between Wimbledon and the hard courts where you regained confidence?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Something switched in my head, because I am very emotional on and off the court. I show my emotions. This is the way I am. Everybody’s different.

The things off court were not working for me, you know. It reflected on my game, on my professional tennis career. But then, you know, I settled some things in my head. It was all on me. You know, I had to try to find the best possible solution and try to get back on the right track. That’s what I did.

Q. Can you talk about some of those secrets that you discovered about yourself that helped you get back on track?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: As I said, you know, something switched in my head. It’s been a big mental struggle, because I was trying to separate my, of course, professional life from my more private life.

But, you know, if somebody’s emotional we’re all humans. It’s not possible. If something isn’t working off court, then it’s going to reflect on the court. I managed to solve that problems.

This is all part of life. Of course, everybody’s facing difficult situations in their lives. To overcome the crisis and to stand up and try to still dedicate yourself to the sport was a big success for me as a person.


Developing as a person and a tennis player doesn’t always happen at a constant rate or go in a positive direction, and you only have to look at Andy Murray to know that that’s true. I’m not saying Djokovic is suddenly a saint or is going to be winning everything from now on. He’s just a man, albeit more a man than ever. But right now – for now – he’s absolutely at the peak of the tennis world. And he looks so good there. I hope it lasts.


Posted in andy murray, australian open, novak djokovic, titlists | Tagged: , | 14 Comments »

Rafa Slammed.

Posted by gauloises1 on January 26, 2011

Or: I owe Ferru and possibly Slams an apology.

David Ferrer d. Rafael Nadal, 64 62 63

I’m pretty sure I’m supposed to be eating my shoes or my hat or my feet right now, but along with many of you, this was not the result I expected to wake up to after staying up late to catch Murray-Dolgopolov and assuming I could get my shuteye in during a routine Nadal win. Even when I got woken up by a text message saying “I’m really frightened for Murray now!”, I assumed the sender meant that Nadal had performed more terrifyingly than usual, and decided to snore some more. Once I finally woke up and saw the result, I decided to watch the match back to see what exactly happened.

I watched it and came to the following conclusion: well done Ferru. And well done Nadal.

As you have no doubt heard by now, Nadal was undoubtedly injured. I couldn’t see exactly what happened, but something happened to his left leg in the second game (clarified later as a muscle tear), and although he managed to regain the service break he’d lost, he called the trainer immediately. As he left the court for evaluation, he looked over to his box, raised his eyebrows, and shook his head. Serious, his face said. And Nadal can say more with his face than just about anyone.

From that point on, his movement was clearly somewhat compromised and the match was there to be taken. That’s not to downplay the achievement of David Ferrer, who played about as well as I’ve seen him. Put the vast majority of players on court with a Nadal who can still run, and still hit, and wants this win about as much as he’s ever wanted anything, and there’s a pretty good chance that Nadal will manage to gut it out. Ferrer shut his friend’s predicament out of his mind and shut Nadal ruthlessly out of the match, then paid tribute to him as a gentleman and a friend. It was about as impressive a display of tennis and sportsmanship as I’ve ever seen, a rare combination of competitive intensity and grace, and a second Slam semi-final is a just reward.

Also, he’s hot.

A clearly crushed Nadal refused to discuss the extent of his injury in his presser:

I had a problem during the match, in the very beginning. […] After that, the match was almost over. So that’s what I can say. But you know what, for me is difficult come here and speak about. In Doha I wasn’t healthy. Today I have another problem. Seems like I always have problems when I lose, and I don’t want to have this image, no? I prefer don’t talk about that today. If you can respect that, will be a very nice thing for me. Thank you.


Of course, as Jon Wertheim puts it, “he can take the high road, but we can’t.” The speculation over the extent of Nadal’s injury and its possible effects is likely to rage for some time and unfortunately tends to overshadow Ferrer’s win. But the encouraging thing for Nadal fans is that … well … it’s not the knees. It’s not tendonitis, it’s not chronic. It’s really unfortunate, but if there’s anybody that can take this on the chin and come back, it’s Nadal. He’s done it before.

Ferrer meanwhile will play Andy Murray in the semifinals after Muzz beat Dolgopolov in a scrappy four-set performance. In the interests of not jinxing or giving myself a stress-induced heart-attack, I’m just going to sort of pretend Murray doesn’t exist for now. OK?


Posted in andy murray, australian open, david ferrer, rafael nadal | Tagged: , , | 4 Comments »

The Word on Day Eight.

Posted by gauloises1 on January 24, 2011

Few of the men and women cracking me up today. Good quotes.

Q. You’re so different, at least you seem so different, to Pistolesi. He is always telling jokes. I don’t know if he does it with you. But I know him since he was 18 years old. Do you like the company also or you don’t see away from tennis?

ROBIN SODERLING: No, we spend a lot of time together. He’s a great guy.

I think you’re wrong. I think we’re very similar. It’s just that I don’t tell you guys jokes (smiling).

Q. Well, start.

ROBIN SODERLING: No (smiling).


He’s a funny guy.

Q. Do you have a favorite Billy Connolly joke?

ANDY MURRAY: No. That’s the thing. We used to listen to it all the time, from maybe like 10, 11 years old until I was up to 15, 16. Then I haven’t seen that much of his stuff for a little while. I’m hoping I’m going to be able to go along and see it. We got a few little tidbits when we were talking to him.

My mum and dad were pretty lenient with that stuff. Probably why my language is so bad on the court (smiling).



Q. It was a very exciting and tough match. In the end you lost. Why do you think you lost?
SHUAI PENG: Bad luck (smiling).

[…] The tennis is like this. Like sometimes you down, you win. Sometimes you up, you lose.


Wise words.

Q. Maybe next time you go into a Grand Slam, you should have no practice and no matches.

AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Yeah, I think I should have surgery before every Grand Slam definitely


Q. Do you find it distracting when everybody is calling out, I love you, Rafa?

RAFAEL NADAL: No, I feel fantastic (laughter).

Q. Are you able to block it out?

RAFAEL NADAL: No, I heard everything. But is nice (smiling).

Q. What about when the girls whistle at you and take pictures of you when you’re changing your shirt?

RAFAEL NADAL: That’s a very good feeling (smiling).

Q. Could you tell us more about this Armani campaign? Was it a good experience? What do you think of the pictures?

RAFAEL NADAL: Was a long experience, but very good experience, no? Is always nice to know different worlds. The fashion world is something that I didn’t know before.

Yeah, was a good session of photos, long one. But hopefully the result are satisfactory, so… I worked very hard, seriously (laughter). So, yeah, was nice. A different experience and I enjoyed.

Q. Do you find you sexy on the picture?

RAFAEL NADAL: I’m not the right person to say. I always watch myself so so. But what do you think? Do you like it?


Nothing puts Rafa in a good mood like beating one of my favourites.

And my favourite quote of the day …

Q. You won the first set, then what happened after that?

FLAVIA PENNETTA: She won the second and the third.


Ask a stupid question …

Posted in agnieszka radwanska, andy murray, australian open, flavia pennetta, rafael nadal, robin soderling, shuai peng | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

The Big Yin & The Little Ukrainian.

Posted by gauloises1 on January 24, 2011

And in ‘matches few saw coming’, Andy Murray will face Alexandr Dolgopolov in the quarter-finals after the latter upset Robin Soderling in five sets.

This may have been the first year that Soderling made it past the second round in Melbourne, but it was still a fantastic match from Dolgopolov, who after a slow start never really looked like losing. More than anything, it was his sheer lightning speed around the court that did for Soderling, who looked slow and lumbering against Dolgopolov’s brilliant retrieving. He defended everything and consistently put Soderling in uncomfortable positions, drawing the error or stinging the Swede with his backhand down the line.

Soderling was visibly frustrated on the court, and wasn’t playing his best, although in this kind of match it’s hard to tell how much comes from the irritatingly brilliant defense down the other end of the court and how much it just wasn’t his day. My theory, for what it’s worth, is that he misses Magnus. Would he have lost if he had that calming, handsome presence benevolently smiling and occasionally nodding at him from his box?

R.I.P. true love.

Not to take anything away from Dolgopolov. The lost Bondarenko brother’s blend of patient aggression and ability to hit winners on the run is very reminiscent of Andy Murray, in fact, so it could be an interesting match in the quarters. Nobody counterpunches better than Murray, though, so I’m betting that Dolgopolov’s shining run of wins against big hitters will come to an end in the next round. Well … I’m hoping. Murray was totally dominant in a 63 61 61 victory over Jurgen Melzer, although I think the support of a certain Billy Connolly may have had something to do with it.

Who could lose with this in their box?!

I just wanted to use these photos.

Posted in alexandr dolgopolov, andy murray, australian open, magnus norman, robin soderling | Tagged: , , , , , | 5 Comments »

“Training Bloc”.

Posted by gauloises1 on July 20, 2010

… I’m sorry, I want to be on this holiday.

Posted in andy murray | Tagged: , | 13 Comments »


Posted by gauloises1 on July 7, 2010

Let’s be frank. I have never liked the Bryan brothers. They irritate me. They creep me out. They leave me a certain skin-crawly feeling that they would shove my face through a woodchipper soon as look at me (not an uncommon reaction, I’m sure). But tonight, I love them, because they have indirectly led to the epicness below.

Tonight, Andy Murray appeared on James Corden’s World Cup Live (the ‘live’ is important), a benign and irritating show which I have strenuously avoided up until now. For those who aren’t familiar, Corden is the co-writer and one of the stars of Gavin & Stacey, a position he has parlayed into an irritating media omnipresence. However, he is undeniably charming and worked with Murray on this segment of a truly epic sketch for Sport Relief earlier this year:

That relationship has been translated into Murray’s appearance on the show tonight. God, I love him. Watch his bits (heh) from the live ITV show tonight, I promise it’s worth it:

Only the perennially well-intentioned Corden could get away with mocking Andy this much to his face and not make me hate him. Bonus ribbing from the ITV4 segment:

Go on. Don’t love him. I dare you.

Posted in andy murray, video | 14 Comments »